Question

Rhona Graves opened checking and savings accounts at Riggs Bank. The customer agreement with Riggs included a provision that "your [account] statement is considered correct and we will not be liable for payments made and charged to your account.unless you notify us of an error, including unauthorized payment or other irregularity within (a) sixty (60) calendar days...of the mailing date of the earliest statement describing the charge or deposit to your account." Prior to June 2002, Graves won a substantial amount of money in the lottery and deposited the lump sum in her accounts at Riggs Bank. On June 8, she suffered a serious stroke and thereafter was unable to communicate.
She was transferred to a nursing home where she died on November 9, 2002. Between May and her death in November, someone made 73 withdrawals from her account, 72 of which were at the $500 daily limit for withdrawals. Then 21 additional withdrawals were made during the 41 days after she died, including 19 at the $500 daily maximum. Thus, $46,547 was withdrawn from the account by this method, including $10,159.50 after her death. In addition, 128 checks were written, resulting in her account being debited $84,731.61. Six of the checks (totaling $62,000) were made out to her sister and another check was written to her sister's daughter. The signatures on the checks did not match the authorized signature on file with the bank. After her stroke, Graves did not have the capacity to review bank statements, and it does not appear she received any at the hospital. After her death, her son petitioned for letters of administration to handle her estate and received authority to open her safe-deposit box. After discovering that she had won the lottery, he sought to determine what had happened to the money, which at that point had essentially disappeared from her Riggs accounts. After asking Riggs for an investigation of the account and receiving only limited information, he filed suit on August 4, 2004, asking that her account be recredited for the unauthorized ATM withdrawals and checks. Should Riggs be required to recredit the account?



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  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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